vinyl records record store day 2020
[Photot via Unsplash/Florencia Viadana]

There is some great news for musicians and fans alike coming from Bandcamp today (April 24). Bands and musicians can now offer subscriptions to fans within the platform. It’s similar to the Patreon model, but has a ton of advantages. 

The move seemingly comes as part of a new initiative to aid artists during this critical time for the music industry. 

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Earlier this week it was reported that Bandcamp plans to wave their distribution fees for artists once more on May 1. Bandcamp’s first attempt at waiving their share of the profits was hugely successful. The organization ended up bringing in a total of $4.3 million for bands over the course of the day with 800,000 sales taking place.

An email was reportedly sent to artists that use Bandcamp earlier this week about the new plan, but it also said they plan on doing a bit more. 

Musicians and bands can now create a subscription service entirely within Bandcamp. 

A subscription has some incredible benefits for bands including a predictable income (which might be hard to come by in these uncertain times) and you can connect directly to your most loyal fans.

Fans have the advantage of never missing a release and gaining access to subscriber-exclusive content, potential discounts and anything else the artist plans on allowing. 

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Bands and musicians can set a monthly or annual fee of whatever they want, and offer any additional benefits they choose. 

Fans gain access to any new material the artist makes with the ability to stream it instantly within the free Bandcamp app. No downloads are necessary. Bands can also provide subscribers with any items from their back catalog as an immediate bonus for subscribing. 

The benefits don’t stop there though. Bands can give fans access to demos or b-sides, concert tickets, exclusive videos and whatever other content they can create. 

So, why is Bandcamp doing this? Well, they said it best on the website.

“We want Bandcamp to be an important part of how any artist develops a sustainable career, and we think subscriptions can be a big part of that.”

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It’s also important to note that a subscription doesn’t replace your current Bandcamp setup. It adds another option, or tab, right onto the home page labeled “Subscribe.”

So, to get to the nitty-gritty of it because Bandcamp has to make money too. 

Bandcamp’s revenue share is 15% of whatever the band sets at their subscription fee, plus a processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30. For musicians that made $5,000 or more in the preceding year, the revenue share drops to 10%. Bandcamp also takes a 10% cut on subscriber-exclusive merch. 

With the current instability of the music industry due to coronavirus, a steady reliable income coming from a band’s most loyal fans could be what gets us all through. If you’re not big on subscriptions check out 10 other ways to help your favorite bands.

To learn more about the entire process, watch the video below and head here

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